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Budget to focus on hunger situation

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Government has said the budget that will be tabled in Parliament will focus on mitigating the impact of food shortages in the country.

Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, will table the 2016/2017 budget in the meeting of Parliament which is expected to start on Friday.

In an interview on Wednesday, Gondwe said because of food shortage in the country, allocations will have to be reduced so that it goes towards that area.

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“We have not produced enough food, we have to import food into the country. However, people do not have money. As a result, when we bring the food from outside the country, it will be difficult for people to buy. We will have to find ways of getting money to rural areas, for example. The budget will have to be concerned about that also,” Gondwe said.

He added: “We are going to do something about all these problems. It means also we may reduce some of the things we always do to get food to eat.”

Gondwe said food shortage has affected many parts of Southern Africa.

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“Unlike in other times when some neighbouring countries had food, and we were importing from those countries, now we have the surrounding countries also having food challenges. This means we have to go much further and even outside Africa to import food,” Gondwe said.

Business Committee of Parliament is expected to meet on Thursday. However, apart from the national budget, Members of Parliament are expected to tackle bills that were not handled in the last meeting of parliament. One of the most notable bills is Access to Information.

The MPs are also expected to discuss bills that were referred to commi t tees for further scrutiny. One of such bills is Communications Bill.

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